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LOVING LIFE

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Acclaimed celebrity relationship and dating expert Lisa Holley Palmer is the author of bestselling books including Snog Marry and Hide; The D Word: When He’s Got to Go, He’s Got to Go; and The Secrets to What Men Really Want. With her vast experience in the dating industry and her wealth of knowledge, Lisa provides valuable advice on how to improve oneself in a relationship, change behaviour patterns in matters of the heart, and recognise the tell-tale signs of the nine personality types.

As described by Piers Morgan, Lisa is the “cupid for millionaires”, having helped numerous high-net-worth individuals navigate the complex world of dating, helping them to find love and build meaningful relationships. Lisa has truly seen it all, from the good to the bad to the downright ugly.

Lisa and musician Ben Ofoedu share a great working relationship after Ben, having struggled with dating mistakes, sought Lisa’s guidance. He has been in the news for some high-profile slip-ups, including with his ex-fiancée, journalist and broadcaster Vanessa Feltz, but he has learned from these experiences and now, with the benefit of painfully acquired personal knowledge, he wants to help others to negotiate the best way forward in life and love too. Together, Lisa and Ben make a dynamic duo.

In this their first column together, Lisa and Ben answer six questions from our readers.

Dear Lisa and Ben,

Question:

I love my wife. We have been together for nearly 20 years, but we haven’t slept together for years. I am sexually frustrated and feel she is not interested in me. I have this lady at work who has been paying me attention. We flirt together and have a laugh and I am feeling attracted to her, we went for a drink after work and I kissed her. I had to stop myself from going back to her house. I feel ashamed, we have two grown-up girls, and I just feel so unhappy.

Lisa responds:

It is essential to have a conversation with your wife and express your feelings to her. Avoid bringing up the woman at work, as this could create complications. In my experience, many women’s relationship issues stem from feeling unhappy with themselves. Perhaps your partner lacks confidence, which can manifest in a relationship. Observe your partner’s behaviour; does she appear content? Is she dressed in dark, shapeless clothing, indicating a lack of effort in her appearance? Consider taking a break for a night or two without children to have quality time and communicate openly to gain clarity on the situation.

Question:

I have just moved in with my long-term boyfriend and he has two children. I also have a child so we are a blended family. Unfortunately, my partner’s children are not getting on well with me or my children. What can I do to resolve this issue? It is putting a real strain on my relationship.

Lisa responds:

It may be helpful to spend time with each child individually to get to know them better and find common interests. For example, if one child enjoys playing snooker, you could show an interest in the game and even play with them. It’s also important to let them know that you’re there for them and open to talking about anything they may want to discuss.

Children can be perceptive, so it’s important to be genuine and not try to force a connection. It’s also helpful to involve your partner in the process and work together as a team to create a positive and welcoming environment for everyone. If the strain on your relationship continues, it may be helpful to seek outside support, such as counseling, to work through any issues and develop strategies to improve the situation.

Question:

I have met this girl. I like her and I have started staying over at her house. She has a cat and it is used to sleeping in bed with her. The cat likes me generally but when it comes to bedtime it claws at me and bites my feet. I’m not happy about me staying over at all. I am scared to move in case it attacks me. I have asked my new squeeze if she can lock the cat out of the bedroom at night but she won’t do it. I am having sleepless nights and now dread staying over. What should I do?

Lisa responds:

It sounds like you’re in a tricky situation with your girlfriend’s cat not taking kindly to you staying over. While it’s understandable that your girlfriend may not want to exclude her pet from the bedroom, it’s also important to prioritize your comfort and safety.

One option could be to have a conversation with your girlfriend about how you’re feeling and see if you can come up with a compromise together. Perhaps there’s a way to make the cat more comfortable with your presence, such as slowly introducing it to you or providing it with its own sleeping area in the bedroom.

It may also be helpful to consult with a pet behaviour specialist who can provide more tailored advice and solutions. Ultimately, it’s important to be open and honest with your girlfriend about your concerns and work together to find a solution that works for everyone involved.

Question:

I have been seeing this girl I like her but her family hates me and makes me feel insufficient, they are uber rich and they make me feel I am only with her for her money and the family money. That’s not the case I truly love her, with or without money, it doesn’t matter to me. I work in tech and feel I will never be good enough and her dad treats me like I am not worthy.

Lisa responds:

It’s unfortunate that your girlfriend’s family is treating you poorly and making you feel inadequate. It’s understandable to feel intimidated by their wealth and status, but it’s important to remember that true love isn’t about money or social status.

One approach could be to have an honest conversation with your girlfriend’s father, expressing your feelings and intentions. It may be helpful to approach the conversation from a place of vulnerability and authenticity, explaining that you genuinely love his daughter and are committed to making her happy.

It’s possible that her father is simply overprotective and worried about his daughter’s wellbeing. By being open and honest with him, you may be able to reassure him that you are a good match for his daughter and have sincere intentions.

Ultimately, it’s important to prioritize your own wellbeing and not allow yourself to be mistreated or belittled. If the situation continues to be uncomfortable or hostile, it may be necessary to reassess the relationship and whether it’s worth enduring such treatment from her family.

Question:

I have been with my boyfriend for seven years and I love him dearly. I want to get married and settle down and every time I talk about marriage and children he changes the subject. I am 32 and starting to get angry about this situation and feel he doesn’t feel the same; my biological clock is ticking and I don’t know what to do.

Ben responds:

You need to talk to him and be completely frank as time is of the essence. If you want children and he doesn’t then you have to decide if you are happy to live in this situation. If not then give him an ultimatum and you will know where you stand and then you can decide as you’re just living in fear and the unknown and surely you will feel better knowing where you stand.

Question:

I have been with my girlfriend for two years, we have a mortgage together but I feel we have outgrown each other and want different things in life, but I don’t want to hurt her but at the same time I am bored, I have this girl I met recently I am really attracted and we get on really well she has invited me to party and I know we will end up sleeping together I feel like I am in limbo.

Ben responds:

I can tell you hand on heart that if you get into a relationship with this other girl it is going to cause you pain and heartache. Be honest with your current partner that you are not happy and don’t want to hurt her and want to move on, give her time to adjust and if you can sort out this amicably. You will have to let her calm down, as this may be a big shock to her and will take her a little while to get over this situation. Try to be there for her, comfort her and do everything you can to help her with this transition.


If you have any questions or concerns email Lisa & Ben, our agony aunt and uncle, on aa.mindjumpmagazine@gmail.com

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